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Senator Hassan Statement on FDA Commissioner Nominee, Robert Califf

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), a member of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, issued the following statement after President Joe Biden announced that he is nominating Robert Califf to serve as the Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration:


“As we continue to combat both the COVID-19 pandemic and the substance misuse epidemic that continues to plague New Hampshire families, we must have an FDA Commissioner that acts independently from the pharmaceutical industry, makes decisions based on the science, and puts the health and safety of Americans first. I have been deeply troubled by some of the FDA’s past decisions – especially as it relates to the approving and labeling of opioid-based medications – and the FDA has yet to make clear what it is doing to learn from its actions. I will thoroughly review Dr. Califf’s record as we consider his nomination in the Senate.”


Senator Hassan has expressed concerns with the FDA’s past decision-making processes for the approval and labeling of opioid drugs. Senators Hassan and Ed Markey (D-MA) previously wrote to the FDA calling for a fuller accounting of the FDA’s past decision-making processes. Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV), Hassan, and colleagues also previously wrote to President Biden detailing concerns with the FDA’s previous decision making for prescription opioids and calling for new leadership at the FDA.